The swarms of locusts which invaded Kirinyaga County on Tuesday afternoon and caused panic among area farmers were escaping aerial chemical sprays from Tharaka-Nithi County, it has emerged.
The flying insects in their millions dotted the atmosphere as they swarmed across the county towards Mathira of the neighbouring Nyeri County.
But the county government has assured farmers that it is well prepared to deal with the menace.
Through the Deputy Governor, Peter Ndambiri, the county said it has a surveillance team on the ground which is monitoring the swarming trends of the destructive insects.
“We have in store chemicals to use should need arise to clear these locusts but since they only landed in a few areas of the county we will use aerial means to destroy them or just use manual sprays, “Ndambiri said.
He said a swarm that was spotted at Ciagini village in Mwea and another one at Kabonge in Ndia constituency was already being managed.
Ndambiri also said the prevailing chilly weather condition in the area was unfavourable to the insects; hence they have to die due to cold or just swarm away.
Speaking to the Media at his Kanjinji rural home early this morning, Ndambiri also assured that there was a special aircraft for the purpose on the ready at Masinga airstrip, just in case.
A local farmer, Justus Mbogo from Itangi village within the vast South Ngariama Ranching Scheme explained how terrified he was on sighting the locusts at his Napier grass shamba.
“Within a short spell, there was nothing green that could be visible on my one acre shamba though the creatures later in the day swarmed away,” he said.
This morning school children trooped to Kabonge village where a big swarm settled on Monday evening to capture a glimpse of the rare spectacle.
The children were however cautioned not to dare eat the insects due to the poisonous spray chemicals used to eliminate them.
By Irungu Mwangi